LONDON — The cost of the average home in the UK hit a fresh record high in the four weeks up to May 13, defying forecasts of a rapidly cooling market as buyers look beyond uncertainties surrounding Brexit and the upcoming general election.
Prices increased by 1.2% in the month, according to the latest index from property site Rightmove, pushing the cost of the average residential property to £317,281 — a new all-time peak for UK homes.
The annual increase was a more muted 3.2%.
“What seems to be happening is that moving pressures are understandably taking priority over electioneering and Brexit worries,” Miles Shipside, a director at Rightmove said.
Prices rose fastest in the family category, which Rightmove classes as three to four bedroom properties, excluding detached homes. The average price in this area gained 5.4% year-on-year in the last month, hitting £270,953.
“As well as that shrinking house feeling, parents with young children also have the pressures of travelling times to amenities as well as the weekday school commute,” Shipside said.
“These have to be balanced against under-pressure finances, even more so when the sector with the property type that suits them best is seeing the biggest price jump.”
Rightmove’s data comes less than a week after official figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the cooling of London’s incredibly hot housing market is continuing at speed. The average London house price fell by 1.5% in March to £471,742, according to the Office for National Statistics. That equates to a 1.5% annual growth rate.
To put that number in context, just one year ago, London house prices were rising by nearly 15% a year.
London’s market is so large and powerful that where it leads, UK prices tend to follow, with many arguing in recent months that property prices across the country are set for an adjustment downwards.
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